(I don’t know what it is with me lately and making lists of fives…)
Here are some quick and and simple tips on how you can improve your photography. These are things that I did in the beginning that made a difference and improved my work.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CAMERA
Think of your camera as a friend, not an intimidating machine. You need to spend time with it, get to know it, and build a relationship in order to understand its and your own capabilities. It wasn’t until I began carrying my camera with me everywhere and shooting anything I found interesting that I noticed my photos improving. Get over your fear of looking like a tourist and start clicking away. Practice makes perfect and this applies to photography, as well.
GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE
Try moving your main subject away from the middle of the composition. Place them to the far right, bottom or top right corner…anywhere but the middle. And if you stick to the middle because that’s where your focus sensor is located in your camera, try this little exercise: Place your sensor on your main focal point, press the shutter button down halfway to focus, and while keeping your finger pressed re-compose your photo and shoot. If you ever see me shooting and slightly moving my head around, this is what I’m doing. (If your camera has a setting where the focus automatically readjusts itself to the location of the sensor, make sure it’s off in order to do this.) Read more about composition here and here.
Straying from the middle allowed me to include the beautiful ocean view in this photo
One of my favorite photos of Bruno…it’s my iPhone wallpaper
UNDERSTAND ISO, SHUTTER SPEED, APERTURE
The trifecta of exposure, as some people refer to it. Understand these terms. Each of these ingredients are needed to create a good photo. Shoot in manual mode and play around with the settings. I remember having such a difficult time understanding all the numbers and again being intimidated by it all. Once you keep shooting in manual mode and seeing the results of the photos with the setting you’ve used, it’ll start coming to you more naturally. (I also recommend this book if you want to go more in depth)
TRY A NEW LENS
If you shoot with a zoom lens (lens that allows you to zoom in closer like a 70-200mm), then try a prime lens (lens that has no zoom capabilities like a 50mm) and vice versa. This gives you a whole new perspective and shakes things up a little. I highly recommend renting lenses and trying them out before you buy them. A lot of local photography stores offer rentals or you can rent them online like I do. I prefer BorrowLenses.com.
READ AT LEAST ONE PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG A DAY
When I say my photography teacher is Google, I’m not being sarcastic. I learned photography by reading blogs everyday as well as watching youtube videos and then applying what I learned. Find a handful of informative photography sites you like and just spend 5 min. reading a post or two. A few of my favorites when I was starting out were Digital Photography School, MCP Actions, and Photofocus.
P.S. Can you believe it’s December already?? Have you guys decorated, yet? I’m actually really excited about the Holidays this year and I’m looking forward to decorating and celebrating with the people I love. And egg nogg. I love egg nogg. :)